Texas Celebrates 20 Years of Charter Schools during National Charter Schools Week

Texas Celebrates 20 Years of Charter Schools during National Charter Schools Week

May 2, 2016

Christine Isett

Austin, Texas – May 1 marks the beginning of National Charter Schools Week, which is designated to raise awareness of public charter schools and the benefit they provide to students and communities. Additionally, this year marks the 20th anniversary of operating charter schools in Texas.

Texas Charter Schools Association’s Executive Director David Dunn states, “In 1996, we saw the beginning of the charter school movement with 20 operating charters and today, Texas can boast of 189 operating charters. I am so proud of the exponential growth in the number of students and campuses and the incredible successes we’ve seen in student outcomes. I’m excited to see what the next 20 years will bring charter schools and students.”

To kick off this week’s celebrations, here are a few facts about charter schools in Texas:

Charter Schools Are Public Schools. Charter schools are independent, tuition-free public schools open to all students. Charter schools are given the flexibility to be more innovative while being held accountable for improved student achievement. Charter schools must adhere to strict academic and financial accountability standards. In Texas there are 613 charter school campuses serving a diverse student body of approximately 228,000 students.

Charter Schools Help Underserved Populations Succeed. The Center for Research on Educational Outcomes (CREDO) at Stanford University released a report last year showing that Texas public charter schools serve higher proportions of students who are economically disadvantaged, African-American, Hispanic, and/or English language learners as compared to traditional school districts.

Further, 2015 data from the Texas Education Agency indicates that economically disadvantaged, African-American, and/or Hispanic students outperformed their peers attending traditional ISDs in reading, writing, and math.

Charter Schools Give Parents Public School Options. Parents want the best education possible for their children. Charter schools give parents options within the public school system so they can find a school that best meets the needs of their child.

National Charter Schools Week is May 1-7, 2016. For information on charter schools in Texas, please visit . For national information on charter schools, please visit the National Alliance for Charter Public Schools website at